2023 Cleveland Humanities Festival: WELLNESS Events

bright colored abstract drawing of hands reach out

Against Optimization

March 27th, 2023

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of the essay collection Trick Mirror. Formerly, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. Her talk focused on thinking toward radical alternate visions of value, aspiration, and potential. 

Your Healing is Killing Me

March 29th, 2023

Your Healing is Killing Me is a performance manifesto based on lessons learned in San Antonio free health clinics and New York acupuncture schools; from the treatments and consents of curanderas, abortion doctors, Marxist artists, community health workers, and bougie dermatologists. It is playwright Virginia Grise's reflections on living with post-traumatic stress disorder, anise, and eczema in the new age of trigger warnings, the master cleanse, and crowd-funded self-care.

Grise is a recipient of the Yale Drama Award, Whiting Writers' Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, and the Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights Center. She is an alumna of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Women's Project Theatre Lab and the NALAC Leadership Institute. She holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts and is The Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Cara Mia Theatre in Dallas, Texas and a Matakyev Research Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University. 

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents

April 3rd, 2023

In her talk, Lisa Damour discussed her latest book in which she addresses the fact that adolescent mental health isn't about feeling good, calm, or relaxed, but about having the right feelings at the right times, and knowing how to manage those feelings effectively: offers guidance on how to help teens open up, and how to keep teens from being overwhelmed by their emotions or feeling at the mercy of their moods; and provides concrete strategies for supporting teens as they manage their feelings at home, with their peers, online, and at school.

Damour îs an advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies and a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, and an author of numerous academic papers, chapters, and books related to education and child development, including her recent New York Times best seller, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood. This event is co-sponsored by the Schubert Center for Child Studies. 

What We Learned While Alone: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic

April 11th, 2023

The anthology Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic, a collection of poetry penned by people around the world sharing their experiences and responses to the pandemic, has been adapted as a theatrical production which premiered at the National Academy of Sciences.

The multi-media performance is part of the Global Vaccine Poem project, a collaboration between the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University and The University of Arizona Poetry Center, and includes prompts which ask the audience to respond via text as part of the event.

Navigating Family Secrets and Healing Intergenerational Trauma: A Reading and Conversation with Cassandra Lane

April 18th, 2023

Cassandra Lane's memoir, We Are Bridges, weaves the story of her great-grandfather's lynching with her experience of becoming a mother, attempting to unearth the lives of her ancestors and provide her child with a family record. Lane confronts the limits of the archive as she weaves together the present day with the imagined lives of her great-grandparents Burt Bridges and Mary Magdalene Magee. In this haunting, poetic debut, Lane dares to construct a new story for herself and her family- one that encapsulates both the brutal inheritances of the past and the hope of Black futures to come. Cassandra Lane read from We Are Bridges and was in conversation with Dr. Michele Tracy Berger, Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. 

Cassandra Lane is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Lane received her MFA from Antioch University, LA. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times's Conception series, the Times-Picayune, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and elsewhere. She is the managing editor of L.A. Parent magazine and formerly served on the board of the AROHO Foundation. This event is co-sponsored by Cleveland Public Library.

The American Dream

May 20th, 2023

This event was apart of The Cleveland Orchestra's first Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Opera and Humanities Festival, which places the opera La Fanciulla del West at its heart. In the inaugural event, the festival explored music created by composers of different nationalities, and will include discussions that address questions of migration, race, ethnicity, gender, and access, while exploring the ideas that constitute the American Dream: hope, promise, opportunity, progress. Robust conversations about the American Dream expressed by participants sharing diverse viewpoints from across political, social, economic, and cultural spectrums will be the focus.